(CBS) – Smoke shop. Head shop. Call it what you will.
But residents of Chicago’s Lincoln Square neighborhood don’t want it because of where it’s located.
CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports.
The smoke shop, Mr. Nice Guy, is supposed to open in just three weeks, in what used to be a shoe store for children. It’s on the same block as a grade school.
When the shop’s logo went up this week, so did some parental red flags. In part because of the design, which could be misconstrued.
“I thought maybe it could be a toy store, or like a candy shop,” one girl says.
Another thought the logo looked like Santa Claus.
It is none of these things. Mr. Nice Guy is a smoke shop. Its owners want to open a half a block from Queen of Angels Grade School.
“I don’t have an issue with his product. I have an issue with his location,” Nicole Adams, a Lincoln Square parent, says.
Those concerned about the site say hundreds of grade school kids walk right by the window daily. Another critic says the merchandise on the store’s website includes brownies, suckers and Hello Kitty pipes, which seems targeted to kids.
The story is 125 feet from the school, which makes it legal – barely. A city ordinance says tobacco products or accessories can’t be sold within 100 feet of a school.
Another school, Waters Elementary, is just around the corner.
The shop’s co-owner, Natasha Palatnik, insists they are not targeting children and want to work with the community. They say they will adjust their window display and will not sell tobacco.
Forty-Seventh Ward Ald. Ameya Pawar says he is also troubled by the business’ location.
There’s another matter: The shop’s owner says they’ve applied for a business license. A city spokesperson says they have not.